Royally Kranked

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Congress To W-We Get To Break The Law Too

So here's what's becoming more apparent about the elitist politicians rallying around sleazebag Representative, William Jefferson

Why is it this issue, and NOT the NSA's warrantless spying on US citizens, that has pushed the entire House leadership-both Dems & GOP-to insist that this a "Constitutional Crisis"?

I submit that this is Congress' way of leveraging themselves to W's level of legal and judicial accountability

The Congress is telling the President, "Hey, we'll let you make all the power plays you want at the clear expense of the Constitution, just so long as we're held to the same legal accountability as you hold yourself to. Let us not have to worry about being lawfully searched, and we won't give you a hard time with the Unitary Executive powers you're making up out of thin air"

What other attitude can account for what Pelosi and Hastert are demanding here from the Justice Dept and the FBI?

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House Leaders Want Return of Items Seized in FBI Search

House leaders from both parties escalated a confrontation with the Bush administration Wednesday, demanding the return of all materials seized in an unprecedented FBI raid on the office of a congressman under investigation for bribery.


Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the top House officials, said in a rare joint statement: "No person is above the law, neither the one being investigated nor those conducting the investigation."

Setting aside their usual partisanship, they also demanded that the FBI agents involved in the search be taken off the case.

So, return all the seized items AND reassign the FBI Agents involved is how the House Leadership wants to play this issue, and we're not supposed to look at that as the Congress trying to make itself both relevant AND above the imperial powers W's trying to grab for himself

This President has clearly and consistently pushed Congress and the Senate aside time and again, and the concept of Executive Branch oversight has been an idea the GOP has had absolutely ZERO interest in exercising

Until now

But with active investigations into various members of Congress, their families, their staffs, former staff members now lobbying their former Congressional employers, suddenly that legal oversight is political manna from Heaven when it comes to insulating the Congress from yet another of W's power grabs

Warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, no big deal, it only affects those not lucky enough to buy their way into the House & Senate

The President issues an illegal on-it's-face executive order that allows corporations to not disclose records to the SEC in the name of National Security, and the Congress does it's most "what, me worry" institutional shoulder shrug

But by God, the idea that a lawmakers office can be searched with a legally issued warrant, well that's just such a breach of institutional etiquette that it's the political version of Miss Manners to the rescue

So here's how to frame the issue

It appears the House & Senate are actually pushing the idea that ANY crime or wrongdoing committed in their DC offices is somehow magically immune from investigation and prosecution, and if the DoJ gives in to these radical claims-which are JUST as imperial as any of W's attempted power grabs via warrantless spying on US citizens-then that's exactly what Representatives and Senators will bestow upon themselves, the right to be completely free from any petty worries via legal troubles, problems and investigations

And if the Representatives and Senators succeed in placing their DC offices strictly off-limits in terms of searches & raids even when carried out with a warrant, then how long until they push for the same legal immunity for their state & district offices as well?

And I'll extend that even further

Back in December, I blogged about the ever wearisome BS in terms of amending the Constitution to ban defiling the US Flag

A question that now arises is how long it would take for politicians under fire to assert that since they're also symbols of the US Govt, they shouldn't have to deal with the defilement of negative public opinion, meaning any and all criticism by the public should therefore be a punishable offense?

This elitist attitude about lawmakers DC offices being sacrosanct from perfectly legal searches & seizures while arrogantly ignoring warrantless searches carried out the public is the most galling aspect of this whole fiasco, and the one that shows how clearly out of touch with the Constitution far too many lawmakers have become

But considering that Congress is even more unpopular with the public than the President is, just how smart is it for the DC politicians to play up that sense of royal entitlement leading into the November elections?

Personally, I hope every single Representative and Senator arguing for this most self-serving of complete legal immunity gets crucified for their UnConstitutional arrogance

But if this group hubris can end up hurting W's imperial claims regarding warrantless spying on the US public, then good can spring from even the most unlikely of places

Here's hoping those pushing the claims pushed by Hastert & Pelosi, and those backing warrantless spying by the Administration ALL crash & burn, they deserve no less


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